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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

144 River Crossing Miracle

 "Young Monk! Being a monk isn't easy. Why don't you return to the secular world? I'll introduce you to someone! She's really beautiful."

Fangzheng turned gloomy when he heard that!

Why would he want to commit suicide? Pui! His life was great. Although he had been scammed by the System, Fangzheng still trusted in it. He believed that he would renounce asceticism one day and have a beautiful future. Even at present, he would not call his life unpleasant!

Why would he commit suicide in such a pleasant world? Also, who would commit suicide while holding onto a reed? Although he only had one strand...

That's right, Fangzheng was trying to emulate Patriarch Bodhidharma's crossing the river on a reed! In fact, the powers of the Savior shoes allowed Fangzheng to walk across the river's surface as if he were on flat ground. It would be extremely cool and astounding. The world would be lit by the rays of his glory!

However, Fangzheng knew that Patriarch Bodhidharma was only able to cross the river on a reed. If he simply walked over without any aid, wouldn't that mean that he was better? Patriarch Bodhidharma might not mind, but the devotees and monks might be unhappy as a result. After all, people entrusted themselves spiritually to Patriarch Bodhidharma. If he was exceeded by someone, the level of disappointment might be overwhelming.

Most importantly, this was a way for Fangzheng to show Patriarch Bodhidharma respect.

Also, although Patriarch Bodhidharma's crossing of the river on a reed sounded more like a fairytale, it was something known and not easily mistakable. Thus, Fangzheng had a pretext for emulation. If he were to walk over without any aid, it would likely turn out problematic. It would not be possible for him to just explain it away.

Therefore, Fangzheng was doing something which he had thought through.

When he saw the kindhearted people shouting at the top of their voices, especially the one who urged him to renounce asceticism and offered to introduce a girl to him, Fangzheng really wanted to add him as a WeChat friend. He could seek him out when he renounced asceticism someday...

However, he could not do so under the watchful eyes of everybody. All he could do was steel his heart and forget it.

Fangzheng waved his hands at everyone before holding his palms together. He said loudly, "Patrons, it's a misunderstanding. This Penniless Monk is not committing suicide. The world is like a marsh with all life trapped in it. This Penniless Monk wants to rescue life from the marsh, so how can he commit suicide?"

"Eh? Then, what are you trying to do?" the crowd was puzzled as they shouted in response.

Fangzheng pointed ahead and said, "This Penniless Monk is One Finger Monastery's Abbot Fangzheng. This Penniless Monk came to participate in the Spring Welcoming Blessing Dharma Assembly under invitation from Baiyun Monastery's Zen Master Baiyun but unfortunately, a setback has befallen me. This Penniless Monk is unable to cross the river. This Penniless Monk has no choice but to emulate Patriarch Bodhidharma's crossing of a river on a reed."

"Pfft!" Someone spat a mouthful of water out.

"Crossing of a river on a reed? Hahaha! This young monk sure is amusing. This level of bragging makes me too embarrassed to even look up into the sky."

"The world is truly huge. There are is sorts of riffraff."

"Look at how fair and clean he is. He looks pretty good but unfortunately, he's crazy."

The ferry's boss scoffed as he said, "This guy must be a comedian invited by some monkey, right? Crossing the river on a reed. I'll get you a bunch of reeds for you to cross... Cross... Heavens!"

Before the ferry's boss finished, Fangzheng had thrown the reed in his hand into the water. Then, he leaped up and stepped onto it!

Instantly, everyone stared at Fangzheng with widened eyes. Whether they believed if Fangzheng would succeed or not, none of them turned their eyes away, perhaps because they were waiting to see a joke, or perhaps to witness a miracle. In any case, it ended up with them fixing their gazes on Fangzheng!

Fangzheng stepped on the reed and no matter how much others shouted for it to sink, he remained standing firmly on the river's surface. There was only a reed beneath his feet! Then, he waved his hand, striking out. With a whoosh, his entire body moved forward! He left a white water trail in his wake!

"Heavens! A miracle!"

"Holy f**k! F**k me!"

"Is it magic? Isn't this way too godly? Who is this monk?"

Brother Hei and the other ferry bosses fell into a daze as they were left rooted to the spot. They constantly rubbed their eyes as they mumbled, "I must be seeing things. How is this possible?"

The river's surface shimmered as a breeze blew. It brought with it some snowflakes from a distance. The winter sun was apparently cooler. However, its light that scattered across the water's surface was blinding.

And on the water's surface, a white-robed monk with a brilliant smile began crossing the river as he occasionally waved his hands! The white monk robe fluttered in the wind like an ethereal immortal. He was like Buddha incarnate!

Elder Du, as well as the monks on Village Viewing Cliff, saw this scene. At that instant, everyone was rooted to their spots as their faces were filled with shock and disbelief.

It was unknown who was the first to shout out: "Crossing a river on a reed! It's truly crossing a river on a reed!"

"If it's not magic but real, then it's truly a miracle! Centuries ago, Patriarch Bodhidharma crossed the Yangtze River on a reed. People think of it as a legend, but someone has really managed to cross a river on a reed. Amitabha! This matter will be able to silence many people in the world," said Zen Master Hongyan with a sigh.

Zen Master Baiyun asked, "Who is this person? How does he have such divine power?"

However, everyone looked at each other in response. All of them shook their heads. They realized that none of them recognized the person crossing the river! Instantly, all of them felt ashamed.

At that moment, someone suggested, "Could he be a foreign monk? We have never seen this monk around the region."

"It's possible. He might be the esteemed disciple of some large monastery."

"Perhaps he is an accomplished monk."

"Crossing a river on a reed is a skill. It does not represent his Dharma insights. A monk is accomplished because of his Dharma, not skill. At such a young age, he is likely lacking in the Dharma."

"Indeed. The Dharma is profound and miraculous. Even if he started studying it while in his mother's womb, it can't be more than twenty years. Twenty years is too short."

Whatever was said later on sounded like sour grapes.

Zen Master Baiyun suddenly said, "Buddhism talks about Dharma insight. Once one gains enlightenment, they will be an accomplished monk. Everyone, are you willing to accompany This Penniless Monk down to take a look? Let us welcome this teacher that has crossed the river."

With that said, Zen Master Baiyun began descending the mountain. When everyone saw Zen Master Baiyun leave, how could they ignore him? They quickly followed.

Only one person remained motionless, and he was none other than Wu Ming!

Wu Ming stood nervously at the edge of Village Viewing Cliff as he looked at Fangzheng. There was a myriad of changes to his expression. He was feeling alarmed but most of what he felt was horror. "Crossing a river on a reed? How... How is this possible? He is only a young monk. What did he do to deserve the ability to cross a river on a reed? I'm doomed. Once everyone ascertains his identity or asks why he had to cross the river on a reed, Elder Du will definitely not lie. When the time comes... I... I..."

Wu Ming felt like his mind was about to explode. He thought of countless solutions, but none of them could resolve the disaster on his hands. Finally, Wu Ming chose to shrink back. He remained on the mountain and refused to go down. He was washing his hands of anything that would happen in the future. He would give up no matter what the future held.

Wu Ming remained motionless, while everyone else was rushing down to see the venerable monk that had crossed the river on the reed. Obviously, no one noticed his reaction.